What Are Scholarship Priorities?
Is your family constantly rushing to take care of tasks at the last minute? Is your family constantly exhausted? Does your family find it hard to sit down at the dinner table to eat a hot meal together? If you answered yes to any of these questions then it is time to look at your priorities and think about what you are teaching your child. The beliefs you have about what is important is being passed on to your child. Your child will take what he or she is learning about priorities (or the lack of them) and will apply them to other areas of his or her life. In other words, how your family operates determines how priorities will be set in other areas of your child’s life. Your child’s priorities of school and scholarships will likely mirror the types of priorities your family lives and operates by. Therefore, are you ready to discover simple little actions you can take to demonstrate the importance of priorities and help your child set his or her own scholarships priorities?
When you come home from work, what are your priorities? Do you greet your spouse with a kiss? Do you greet your child with a hug, high five or fist bump? Do you talk to your family for a few minutes to “check-in” with everyone before “doing your own thing?” Chances are if you are not doing these things then your family is not “playing as a team”. When members of family do not work together then it takes longer for each individual to complete family oriented tasks. It is easy for things to “slip through the cracks”, be forgotten about and then action needs to be taken at the last minute to get things done. This creates stress, tension and feelings of exhaustion.
Working together as a team is usually NOT taught in school. That is why it is extra important that your child learns about teamwork from you in order to become a better team player. Priorities of teamwork include “checking-in” regularly with other team members, knowing the rules for how and when to give and receive feedback and how to handle conflict. There is always going to be conflict but knowing how to manage conflict together is what creates a winning team. Everyone is working towards the same outcome by playing by the same “rules”. Working together as a family allows for necessities to be taken care of quickly so there is free time for other activities. When your child experiences more quality family time as a result of setting priorities then your child is more likely to set priorities in his or her academic life.
For example, when your child comes home from school, what are your child’s priorities? Does your child eat a healthy snack? Does your child get started on homework? Does your child spend time looking for and applying to scholarships? Does your child look forward to you coming home from work and having an engaging conversation at the dinner table? Is your child excited to share his or her daily “wins” and “losses” with you?
If your child is not engaged in an ongoing family discussion then it is going to be more challenging for your child to pursue scholarships. Without a support system to celebrate his or her daily “wins” and vent about “frustrations”, your child is more likely to “give up”. Your child needs ongoing support to develop new habits and not drift from priorities. To help your child stay focused, regularly ask the following types of questions while at the dinner table…
- How is the scholarship search going?
- How many scholarships did you look at today?
- Did you meet the qualifications for any of them?
- What kinds of questions are on the scholarship application?
- How are you going to answer these questions?
By asking these types of questions regularly your child knows he or she needs to be engaged in an ongoing scholarship search. The anticipation of being asked such questions prompts your child to take action. Soon your child will be excited to share his or her daily “wins” and will look forward to an ongoing conversation. When your child has daily “losses” your child will also look forward to a dinner conversation. Your child knows he or she will have time to discuss what he or she is thinking and feeling. It is the ability to be seen and heard that is important to your child and will help him or her feel loved. A regular supportive family dinner will give your child something to look forward to.
Over time, consistent conversations about scholarships will help your child develop new habits. Your child will develop a “go-getting” attitude and will learn to be pro-active. Rather than your child mentioning things at the last minute before something is due or needs to be done, your child can anticipate having time to talk about important items at the dinner table. A conversation at the dinner table allows the family to plan things together rather than being in a constant state of emergency to get everything done before a deadline. Dinner time can be productive from the stand point of helping everyone get together on the “same page” so everyone can play better as a team.
Remember, without consistent communication between family members tasks are going to be forgotten about and then unnecessary urgency will be created to complete tasks by their deadlines. This stress and strain can easily be avoided by creating “time and space” for family members to talk to each other. Eating dinner together as a family regularly is one form of demonstrating priorities. Other routines can be as simple as greeting your spouse and child after work and “checking-in” with everyone before “doing your own thing”. When your child sees you engaging in simple daily routines that demonstrate your priorities then your child can easily model your behavior and create his or her own routine when coming home after school. Routines are great because they incorporate priorities. You can help your child stay focused on scholarship priorities may making it a habit to ask your child about how his or her scholarship journey is coming along. After a while your child is likely to look forward to talking to you about his or her daily “wins” and “loses”.
The next time you come home after work, greet your spouse and child by “check in” with them before doing “your own thing”.
BONUS! Asking your child about his or her daily “wins” and “loses” is a form of accountability (in a fun and sneaky way).